Government prioritises nurses empowerment as part of the transformation of healthcare

The government of St. Kitts and Nevis has prioritised the empowerment of nurses as part of a more comprehensive plan to transform the delivery of healthcare services in the Federation, fully understanding that nurses are central to building resilient and sustainable healthcare systems that promote the well-being of all.

This was emphasised by the acting Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Health, Curtis Martin, when he delivered an address in observance of a week of activities commemorating International Nurses Day , which runs from May 06 to 12, 2024. International Nurses Day is observed worldwide on May 12.

Mr. Martin described nurses as “the backbone of healthcare and frontline heroes” who work tirelessly to deliver high-quality care to patients.

“They are the guardians of health, promoting wellness, preventing diseases, and providing comfort and solace to those in need. Investing in nursing makes economic sense, as it is essential for us to achieve universal health coverage, and it is a significant step towards a healthier, more prosperous island state,” the acting PS said in his address.

The St. Kitts and Nevis Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister and Minister of Health, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, has made scholarship opportunities available for nurses and has provided full salary and scholarships for nurses who enrol in specialist programmes, further reinforcing its commitment to delivering exceptional healthcare services to the public.

Moreover, a Pre-Nursing programme is scheduled to commence in September for the 2024-2025 Academic Year at the Division of Health Sciences of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College. It provides an opportunity for persons who lack the prerequisites for admission into a Bachelor of Science in Nursing programme to pursue a nursing career through the nursing assistant programme.

“A well-educated nursing workforce is uniquely positioned to tackle the challenges inherent to our island environment, from natural disasters to chronic diseases,” Mr. Martin commented.

The Ministry of Health has reported that a large number of nurses have shown keen interest in enrolling in specialised programmes this year, encompassing areas such as emergency nursing, critical care, public health nursing, family nurse practitioner, hemodialysis, and nursing education.

Acting Permanent Secretary Martin added that, “Through these initiatives, we are not only investing in the professional growth of our nurses but also strengthening our healthcare system’s capacity to deliver high-quality care. By equipping our nurses with the knowledge and expertise they need, we are ensuring a healthier and brighter sustainable island state.” (SKNIS)

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